It's always fun to look back to the days when Apple's stock was at an all-time low of $3.53 (now $333), they had just purchased NeXT, and Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple from Pixar. Steve was invited to host a Q&A session at the 1997 WWDC. It is inspiring to hear Steve describe what we now know as iCloud somewhat 14 years earlier at the time when daily WSJ articles were reporting complete market domination by Intel, Microsoft, and Compaq.
Let me describe the world I live in. About eight years ago we had high-speed networking connected to our NeXT hardware. Because we were using NFS, we were able to take all of our personal data. our "home directory"' we called them—off of our local machines and put them on a server. The software made that completely transparent; a professional could be hired to back up that server every night.
In the last seven years, do you know how many times I lost any personal data? Zero. Do you how many times I've backed up my computer? Zero.
I have computers at Apple, at Pixar, at NeXT and at home. I walk over to any of them and log in as myself. It goes over the network, finds my home directory on the server and I've got my stuff, wherever I am. And none of that is on a local disc. The server is my local disc.
Defining a vision is one thing, but implementing it is another. A large part of that implementation relies on internal marketing. Steve is doing exactly that, marketing, as he is talking about his dream for the future. He is rallying developers behind this vision and inspiring them by showing endless opportunities to develop software for Mac during this session. "What are you waiting for?!" he yells! Here is what Steve told all the developers taken back after reading Microsoft's phenomenal growth reports in WSJ:
The day we started Apple, IBM had the largest share. Not only did they control the technology but they also controlled the customer. We should have just quit right there! But hey, I didn't even know what WSJ was. And it served us well! I think every good product I've seen has been created because a group of people really cared about making something wonderful for themselves and their friends to use. Why did we build Apple II? We really, really wanted it.